- Associated Press - Friday, June 27, 2014

NEW ROADS, La. (AP) - A plan by Superintendent Linda D’Amico to transform Pointe Coupee Central High into a college readiness and career academy holds such promise that two school board members want that academy to start in the fall.

But that was too soon for D’Amico, whose plan calls for opening the academy in August 2015 and who expressed doubts she could properly staff the new program to open this August.

And six other board members backed her up Thursday, defeating with a 2-6 vote a motion by board member Ted Nelson to open Central High as the Pointe Coupee Early College/Career Academy this fall.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/1poH91a ) the board will revisit the effort as early as next month, after board members meet with the superintendent to work out their concerns.

Board member Chad Aguillard supported Nelson’s motion, arguing he didn’t want to see the campus closed for an entire school year given the controversy surrounding its shutdown this summer.

Central’s shutdown was forced by U.S. District Judge James J. Brady’s April 7 decision to close the school at the request of the state’s Recovery School District.

The RSD asked the court in March to return jurisdiction of the school to the parish School Board. The state had failed to improve the struggling school’s academic performance during the six years the school was operated under the state’s umbrella.

The more than 180 students who attended the school have been ordered transferred to Livonia High in the fall, making it the lone public high school for the parish.

Brady also ordered the school board to submit a plan to the court within six months outlining the district’s proposed use of the PC Central campus and student assignments for the 2015-2016 school year.

“The only thing holding us back at this point is whether or not the judge will approve this plan,” Aguillard said. “I think we could start this in the upcoming school year if it’s something we made the top priority.”

That plan would cost the district approximately $1.5 million in its first year. The superintendent said she based that figure on hiring the necessary staff and faculty to educate 183 students.

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Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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